Cyclonic storm in Arabian Sea; IMD issues red alert to coastal Maharashtra, Gujarat for June 4

It has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall over south coastal Maharashtra for June 2-4, on north coast on June 2-3 and in Gujarat, Daman and Diu, and Dadar & Nagar Haveli on June 3-5.

Cyclone Nisarga: Storm activity intensifies in Arabian Sea; red alert in 7 coastal districts of Maharashtra
NEW DELHI: A cyclone is likely to hit the coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat on June 3, according to a weather office forecast, adding more trouble for these two states which are already struggling to rein in the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said conditions were turning favourable for the further advance of the southwest monsoon. The weather office expects the monsoon to strike the Kerala coast this week, disagreeing with private forecaster Skymet which said the monsoon has already reached the mainland.

The storm is forecast to hit the coasts of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, and southern Gujarat from Monday to Wednesday, the IMD said. It will intensify into a cyclone over the sea and strike Maharashtra and Gujarat with wind speeds higher than 100 km per hour.


Its trajectory is not yet accurately forecast as it is still developing, but some models project it to move close to the Mumbai coast. Apart from strong wind, cyclones bring torrential rainfall and create a storm surge, or an increase in sea level by a few metres over the tidal level. This is a serious threat for Covid-hit Mumbai which has seen heavy flooding because of torrential rain in the past.

A system of clouds and wind is intensifying over the Arabian Sea and is heading northwards towards Maharashtra and Gujarat, IMD said on Sunday. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the US Navy and Air Force has issued a “significant tropical weather advisory” for the system, 270 nautical miles north-northwest of Kochi.

“Global models are in agreement that (it) will quickly consolidate over the next 48 hours and track generally northward,” it said.
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The storm predicted to hit the two states follows the devastating Amphan super-cyclone that ravaged Kolkata, coastal Bengal and Odisha two week ago. In both cases, the rising temperature of the sea surface intensified the storm. A cyclone draws its energy from ocean heat.

Weather scientists say global warming increases the intensity and frequency of cyclones. Normally, the Arabian Sea only has one cyclone every year, but 2019 saw five cyclones develop throughout the year –– which was a 117-year record. The Amphan cyclone was among the fiercest storms ever seen in India. It caused widespread damage in Kolkata even after it weakened considerably as it moved over land from the coast towards the city.

Last week, IMD had forecast pre-monsoon showers in the coasts of Maharashtra, but the actual onset is expected to begin in the second week of June.
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